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Radiographic findings of the upper extremity in collegiate rodeo athletes

, : Radiographic findings of the upper extremity in collegiate rodeo athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 35(4): 543-547

Introduction & Purpose: Upper-extremity trauma has been extensively studied in traditional sports to reduce predisposition to injury. Limited attention has been directed toward nontraditional, high-collision sports such as rodeo. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantify radiographic changes of the upper extremity in collegiate rodeo athletes after seasonal competition. Methods: After written informed consent, 25 male roughstock athletes (age = 21.0 +- 1.4 yr; height = 174.5 +- 5.7 cm; weight = 73.0 +- 5.9 kg) competing in the College National Finals Rodeo reported for standard anteroposterior and lateral x-rays of both arms (hand/wrist, forearm, and elbow). Results: Radiographs revealed 82 total abnormalities involving both left and right extremities of all athletes. Hand/wrist findings included 24 fractures (19 healed, 5 nonunion) involving scaphoid, styloid, interphalangeal, phalanx, and various metacarpals. Fourteen cases of degenerative joint disease (scaphoid/radius, scapholunate, triangulofibrocartilage, and carpometacarpal), joint calcification, dorsal instability, and scapholunate dissociation were observed. Forearm findings included ulnar cortical thickening, healed stress fractures, and plates/screws. Elbow findings revealed ulnar/humeral degeneration, calcification, posterior olecranon tip fracture, traction spurs, and joint space narrowing with loose bodies. Conclusion: Findings indicate a significant amount of radiographic evidence of repetitive trauma to the upper extremity in this sport. Development and mandatory use of effective external bracing beyond existing techniques at the collegiate level of competition should be encouraged.


PMID: 12673134

DOI: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000058365.89296.4E

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